Fraser mayor sacked
Queensland’s Local Government Minister has sacked the Fraser Coast Mayor.
Sixty-six-year-old councillor Chris Loft was charged with two counts of official misconduct one count of computer hacking, disclosure of official secrets and wilfully disclosing information by the state's corruption watchdog late last year.
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) said the alleged offences happened while he was Mayor.
Queensland Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has exercised his power under the Local Government Act to call on the Governor-in-Council to dismiss Cr Loft.
Mr Hinchliffe said the evidence that Councillor Loft was unfit for office was clear and unequivocal.
Mr Hinchliffe said there had been 11 findings of either inappropriate conduct of misconduct against Cr Loft, including:
- Breaches of the Councillor’s Code of Conduct
- Repeated inappropriate use of media
- Failure to comply with Council’s IT systems policy
- Use of position to influence an employee of a council-controlled entity to covertly provide financial information
- Improper disclosure of confidential council information to a third party
- Failure to comply with Council’s Public Interest Disclosure policy
“The dismissal of Cr Loft is effective from 10:00am today, Friday 16 February,” he said.
“Given the flagrant nature of Cr Loft's breaches, I am satisfied that dismissal is the right course of action.
“Even genuine remorse could not alter the fact that Cr Loft has made serial breaches of the Local Government principles outlined in the Local Government Act.
“The likelihood that Cr Loft may continue to engage in similar conduct in future is something that I'm not prepared to take a risk on.
“To be clear, my decision to dismiss Cr Loft has nothing to do with any matter currently before the courts, any current investigation, or any charges laid by the CCC.”
The mayoral vacancy will be filled by a by-election within the next 12 weeks on a date to be decided by the acting Queensland electoral commissioner.
Deputy Mayor George Seymour will assume the role of acting mayor until then.